Another generation of kids indoctrinated into the dangers of cycling:!/BicycleNSW/status/146424682898403330/photo/1...


I still find it astonishing that BNSW leads their schools programme with the helmet message. Even accepting that politically it's hard to campaign against them, and even accepting that the staff of BNSW are not familiar with the science and statistics that cast doubt over the wisdom of helmets, one would still hope that they would engage schools with a more positive message - like how much fun it is to go for a bike ride, for example.

Kid's cycling programmes are so much about 'staying safe' that it makes the whole riding bikes thing look like an unpleasurable chore.



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Yep... pathetic.

The message "Safety, Safety, Safety!" is interpreted by 99% of people as "Danger, Danger, Danger!"

I'm sure they were all driven to school.


The message "Safety, Safety, Safety!" is interpreted by 99% of people as "Danger, Danger, Danger!"

That's the best formulation of the point I've seen.

The aim of the BikeWise junior cycling program is to teach kids the control skills and social skills they need to be competent bike riders. It's about much more than putting a lid on your head.

"...the very good programme shown by bikewise in the video would have also stressed the safety aspect of helmets as it is a Gov't sponsored or susidised programme & therefore must promote legal activities."

They might have to comply with the helmet law, but they surely don't have to emphasise helmet wearing.

"Also, the safety, safety, safety message would have been delivered at intersections, street crossings, driveways, pedestrian crossings."

And that's fine and appropriate, because those are the dangerous places. I wouldn't want danger to be swept under the rug, but the point is that danger shouldn't be the main focus of the "let's ride a bike kids!" message. Danger should be relegated to the limited situations where it is relevant rather than being the central message. And a focus on active prevention - traffic awareness, road positioning etc. is much better than passive measures (personal protective equipment).

"A poorly fitted helmet is far more dangerous than not wearing one at all, you have a false sense of security & then add to the statistics supporting the non mhl lobby."

So true.
I cringe whenever I see one worn poorly (usually tilted right back) but I cannot bring myself to say anything, particularly to a parent as it is often children not wearing them properly. I passed a woman the other day who had it on backwards! She looked like a tourist but clearly had not worn one before.

Yes, I saw a child at my local playground climbing the ropes course with a helmet on. I guess her parents believed it would be safer with it even though the play area was rubber matted for falls. A lot of parents are not aware of this issue.

BICYCLE helmets are potentially deadly if they are worn by children who are playing, not riding bikes, doctors have warned.

Three Australian children died after being strangled by their helmet between 2003 and 2009, a review of forensic records has found.

Prizes to John H and Kylie for eagle-eyes. I'm guessing the women with the floppy helmet was their adult school teacher. As per the hat, I can't tell if it's hard peaked of soft, but point taken. My point, in keeping with Colin's comments above that children's cycling education is about a lot more than helmets and drilling into kids a message of danger, danger, danger. It's also about having good control skills on the bike, learning how to assess risks in urban environments, and riding in a way that is courteous to others. These are skills that many of us still need to learn as adults.

How can we fight this sort of sh!t when the fun police are rampant?

My trombonist son is about to go on his annual school band tour of the NSW north coast. In years past they have had a fantastic time swimming in the Pacific Ocean when not travelling or performing.

This year the ocean is off limits because, apparently, the DoE has issued a directive against school children swimming in surf due to one school kid drowning somewhere recently. A tragedy, for sure, but reason to stop a whole generation from swimming in the sea? Hardly.

They can still swim in chlorinated pools... but for how long?

Hi All,

I'm James, I work at BNSW in marketing & sponsorship and was first employed to set up the schools program in 2008.

Seeing the comments following our Twitter post yesterday from the helmet artwork design competition prize presentation at Marks Point Public School I wanted to respond with more info on the competition.

Firstly, we feel it important to promote responsible riding to this influential target group and regard wearing a helmet an important part of a young riders journey on roads, cycle lanes and pavements.

The competition was borne through some creative thinking about how we can engage with young riders without "scare mongering" or feeling like they are being preached to.

As a bit more info we ask students to create the artwork for a helmet with a winner from each state receiving a bike and helmet and the overall winner having the artwork used on a new, limited edition helmet. The competition receives no government funding, and generates income through sponsorship and helmet sales.

The ethos of the competition is to engage with young riders in a fun and creative way and provide an effective platform for teachers and parents to start conversations about cycling that have long term effects. Our presentations to students at the schools are massively popular and we receive excellent feedback from schools for our work. 'safety' or 'safe' was not mentioned in today's presentation about helmet use.

Perhaps we will video the next one and make it available online?

The school we were at today has had to extend their bicycle parking area to accommodate the increase in the number of regular riders thanks to our efforts over the past 3 years (they take part in the helmet design comp, have received a skills workshop from us and also take part in the gold medal challenge). Teachers and parents tell us that our initiatives and approach to cycling promotion to young riders is effective and we have seen results within schools and communities across the state.

If anyone would like more information please contact me. I would be more than happy to have you accompany us to a presentation to dispel your perception of us going into schools preaching safety and making cycling look like an unpleasurable chore - it's quite the opposite.



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+! from me too James. It does sound as though you are reaching that target group effectively. I think it is important for those who believe the MHL should be repealed to put their efforts into having the law repealed (by campaigning to the lawmakers).

I think we must accept that BNSW did not make the law, but must operate within it. If a competition to make artwork for helmets actually results in the wearing of helmets being an attractive proposition, then it won't be deterring these kids taking up cycling.

Hi, just wanted to join in by saying I have attended a presentation with James and his team from  BNSW. The BNSW team absolutely put their all into encouraging cycling and making it fun for kids, can I say too that the kids responded really really well  - from where I sat there was a room of smiling faces and definately gave the impression they wanted to get out there on their bikes after hearing & experiencing what the BNSW team were offering. Good job guys, let's keep encouraging kids into safe and happy riding.


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